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Homebrew: Post Apocalyptic Survival Horror: Rules Lite

   
Post Apocalyptic Survival Horror: Rules Lite



Hey all. I am looking at developing a rules lite system based largely on The Window by Scott Lininger.

The changes I am planning will convert the system to a high rolls = better outcomes type of dice rolling, removal of the d30 die and development of a character point and thoroughly developed skill system. The idea is that character design will be the most complex and involved aspect of the system, but the game rules for determining success or failure in combat, skills use, etc. will be extremely quick, easy and fluid.



I plan to include a range of skills for gathering food and water, weapons and basic components for building other things as well as survival skills, traits, advantages and disadvantages, etc. The character points will work similarly to GURPS or Twilight 2013 in that you start with a pool of points to build your character with. You spend points for things that are advantageous and earn points for things that are disadvantageous.

Right now, I am looking for advise from people familiar with the post-apocalyptic genre who have some ideas on useful skills, advantages, disadvantages, etc for such a setting. If you borrow material from somewhere else, please give credit where it is due. Also, anyone who has questions about the setting (so far) or wants to express interest, feel free to do so.

Thanks folks...

Sounds pretty cool!

I'm not too familiar with GURPs or Twilight 2013, but going back many, many years I do recall Palladium had a TMNT product called After the Bomb which might have some relevant info that you can salvage. Other than that, what about modern d20 skills? Even the skills listed in the other Palladium books might come in handy for you. Rifts had a pretty extensive list from what I can recall.

Good luck!

Thanks ninj, I hadn't thought of Palladium.

Below find a flavor piece for the setting...


Well, if you want high rolls to be good in The Window, you'll be better off omitting the d30 AND the d20, and use pairs of dice to represent skills above d12. The range between a d12 and a d20 is too great for a high roll = good system. Maybe do it like this:



Or, just use the dice codes in this game to roll 1d(any number).

I know you didn't ask for crunch advice, but worried you might have missed that.

You're right about the gap between d12 and d20 being too large. I had been working on this problem a bit and had not noticed your response Dean....I wish I had!

I like the approach of mixing the dice, and that is a lot better than assigning a + or - value to an unmixed die roll (aka: the way I was trying to work it out) something like: 2d8 -2....feels cludgy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nautilus_project View Post
You're right about the gap between d12 and d20 being too large. I had been working on this problem a bit and had not noticed your response Dean....I wish I had!

I like the approach of mixing the dice, and that is a lot better than assigning a + or - value to an unmixed die roll (aka: the way I was trying to work it out) something like: 2d8 -2....feels cludgy.
I could be wrong but dont many dice rollers allow you to pick any sided die for example a d3 or a d16 or a d27? If this is so, then a d16 could work generating a number between 1 and 16.

Dice Roll: 1d16
d16 Results: 12
These dice were omitted, altered, or moved: d16
Original Dice: d16


and again

It works!

Dice Roll: 1d16
d16 Results: 6

Nice! I guess that's what Dean was getting at when he mentioned to "use the dice codes in this game to roll 1d(any number)" Not sure why I didn't pick up on what he was saying. Well, thanks for pointing that out Blackrazor. Considering this rules-lite system I'm working up is going to be MW-based, I might as well go for the custom dice types.

I'm pretty happy with this as a competency ladder for this system:

Competency Ladder
Master (-40)
Dice: 2d12

Elite (-35)
Dice: 2d11

Experienced (-30)
Dice: 2d10

Skilled (-25)
Dice: 2d9

Efficient (-20)
Dice: 2d8

Adept (-15)
Dice: 1d14

Capable (-10)
Dice: 1d12

Competent (-5)
Dice: 1d10

Novice (0)
Dice: 1d8

Incompetent (+5)
Dice: 1d6

Incapable (+10)
Dice: 1d4

The number in brackets is the character point adjustment for taking that competency, since this system will be based on buying skills, advantages and disadvantages similarly to GURPS.

All characters would start at Novice competency with most simple skills. Skills are rolled against Degrees of Difficulty; with more complex actions being more difficult to execute. Note that in most cases, to use any moderate skill (using a weapon, ducking for cover while under fire, etc) a character needs to roll a 5 or better. In this way, incapable characters cannot succeed, incompetent characters are unlikely to succeed and novices have an equal chance of success vs failure.

Test rolls...

Dice Roll: 1d24
d24 Results: 3


Dice Roll: 5d4
d4 Results: 2, 1, 3, 2, 1 (Total = 9)
These dice were omitted, altered, or moved: 5d4.4
Original Dice: 5d4.4

Ouch!




Just my two cents, I've always had a problem with using skills in survial type scenarios to find water/food etc. I've found what usually happens is either the party ends up with somebody who finds food/water/ammo every time they search (thus removing the 'resources are incredibly scarce' theme) or nobody is capable of succeeding (requiring lots of GM interference for the game to continue).

In many post apocalyptic (survival) scenarios the main objective will be, 'we are running low on xxx, there is lots of xxx over there, but there is xxx in our way, how do we get it?' Just having somebody roll the ,'get xxx' skill is generally unsatisfying.

Conversly if somebody's character is really good at 'get xxx' skill they get miffed when the mission doesn't allow them to do so

(I know the mission is to get to the water tank past the zombies, but my character has 50 master ranks in 'Find Water', I should be able to find water anyway, boo hoo hoo!)




 

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